Most of us just try to get through the day, keep our belly full, and hope for the best at dinner, but you may be interested to know some foods to eat for lunch that can help you feel more energized throughout the day, prevent overeating at dinner, and keep your hormones steady as well. All of these foods are great choices for lunch, and can either be combined or eaten with other foods. Most of them are rich in protein and fiber, two key nutrients that help stabilize your blood sugar, prevent you from overeating, and keep you satisfied longer. This helps you eat less at dinner, or at least eat normal portions, instead of coming home starving and eating everything in sight. Keep these foods to eat for lunch as choices that you put on your plate each day, and you should be feeling much less hungry when dinner rolls around!
Salmon is one of the best foods to eat for lunch of all. The amino acids from the protein help to keep you alert, and also fuel neurotransmitters that secrete serotonin, promoting a good mood and satisfaction. The protein also helps to keep you full longer, and helps your body burn calories while actually craving less food overall. Salmon’s rich omega 3 and DHA fats also help to promote healthy brain function, and can help you make better choices at dinner.
If you’re vegan, quinoa is a great protein to eat in replacement to meat. It does contain more carbs, but they are carbs your body needs and can use quite easily. Quinoa contains both low-glycemic carbs and all essential amino acids from protein. This is so incredible for your body, especially your blood sugar and brain. Quinoa also contains B vitamins for a healthy metabolism, and it can help with a sluggish thyroid. Since it also has fiber, it promotes healthy insulin function, regularity, and helps keep you satisfied longer.
3. A Huge Salad
A huge salad is one of the best things you can eat for lunch. First, it takes a while to eat, so all that fiber really helps to fill you up nicely. Secondly, it contains phytonutrients from vegetables that nourish your cells and promote alkalinity in the body. When the body is alkaline, it is much more satisfied, and doesn’t crave high calorie and high sugar foods. Just remember not to fill your salad up with cheese, croutons, high sugar fruits, or starchy foods. Also avoid salad bar or deli meats, which are full of sodium and nitrates. It is best to make your own or top it off simply with some lean protein. You should also skip the dressing or use a little apple cider vinegar instead.
While avocados are high in fat, they are the good kind of fat your body needs. Eating them at lunch is great for a few different reasons. First, the fats in avocados tell your body that you’re full, and the fiber in avocados also helps keep you full longer. Since the fats are monounsaturated fats, they’re great for your waistline, heart, and mood. Avocados also contain B vitamins and magnesium to calm your nerves and prevent stress eating at dinner, or even in the afternoon when you want a snack. Chop about a ¼ cup avocados on your salads, or add them to your meal with lean protein and veggies.
5. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a great food to eat with (but not in place of) your lunch if you tolerate dairy. Choose nonfat, plain varieties, and preferably from sources without hormones or antibiotics. Greek yogurt contains almost 20 grams of protein in just 6 ounces, and protein helps keep your blood sugar stable, promotes a sense of satisfaction, and can help burn calories in your body. The whey and casein in Greek yogurt are two proteins that help tell your body you’re full for a longer period of time as well. This keeps you coming to the dinner table hungry, but not starving. I like having Greek yogurt with a huge salad and piece of protein like salmon on top of my salad for a super satisfying, high protein, and nutrient-filled meal.
6. Pastured Eggs
I love eggs, and rarely ever eat them, though I should. I try to eat mostly vegan forms of protein whenever possible, but if I have a long day ahead of me and want a great source of protein to keep me fuller longer, I go with eggs. I choose pastured eggs over cage free or organic because pastured eggs are automatically cage-free, and most are organically sourced. Pastured eggs are higher in nutrients since hens are allowed to feed off the land’s natural grasses, not grains or feed. This means you’re getting more nutrients like omega 3 fats, protein, choline, zinc, iron, and B vitamins. All of these nutrients help keep your body satisfied longer, and help keep your brain in tip top shape. This keeps you making good dinner choices in moderate portions and keeps your body balanced.
Lastly, though you need to eat more than just veggies for lunch, they should be added to every lunch that you eat. This keeps you full, satisfied, and gives your body nutrition it needs. No vegetable is off limits either! Just remember, when you bulk up meals with veggies, there’s less room for your body to crave unhealthy stuff, or be hungry all day.
Choosing these foods will ensure that when you arrive to the dinner table, you’ll be nourished, able to make smarter choices, and your blood sugar will be stable, not erratic and leaving you grabbing high fat or starchy foods. When you eat high fat and incredibly starchy foods at night, you have no time to burn them off, and they’re stored as weight gain. Get plenty of protein throughout the day so this doesn’t happen. What’s your favorite lunch time meal ingredient to keep you satisfied?